I was a little sad to see the Street Fighter franchise move beyond the excellent art direction it found for itself in Street Fighter IV. Capcom’s use of character models really helped it stand apart from the rest of the cliche looking games crowding the Japanese fighting scene.

Well, now that I see the evolution of that art design, there is no going back. Street Fighter V is looking pretty great!

Capcom has used the Unreal Engine 4 to find a perfect balance between a realistic looking cast of characters and the cartoonish style of the previous generation. Ryu especially has just stunning detail in his face and muscle tone. Joining him are the other three characters that have been confirmed to appear in Street Fighter V: Chun-Li, M. Bison, and Charlie Nash.

In addition to the screenshots, we also have a look at two of the game’s systems: the return of the EX Gauge for critical attacks and a new mechanic called V-trigger, detailed by Gematsu below.

  • V-Trigger – A special move unique to each character that can turn the tide of the fight. You can only unleash these after you’ve filled the V-Gauge – and you do that by taking damage.
    • Chun-Li’s makes her hits stronger.
    • Nash can quickly teleport behind or above his opponent for sneak attacks.
  • V-Skill – A defensive move that can be used during the fight.
    • Ryu’s allows him to parry incoming attacks with ease.
    • M. Bison can reflect projectiles back at his opponent.

We’re still waiting on a roster of characters, and I’m thinking that it will have an offbeat cast minus the second-tier iconic characters, ie. Blanka, Dhalsim and Zangief. They might pop up eventually, but I’m thinking that the first line-up will be similar to Street Fighter III, where Ryu, Ken, and Chun Li highlighted a bunch of nobodies.

We’ll have to wait and see at E3 next week, because Capcom has confirmed that the game will be its only original title making an appearanceStreet Fighter V will launch for the PlayStation 4 and PC.